Wellington Town Council’s planning meeting has granted to BH & S Insurance Services and Apsleys Chartered Accountants permission to change the use of 28 High Street – the former Samuel’s Fish Mongers, from A1 (shop) to A2 (financial and professional services) use.
In an echo of the row earlier this year over the McCarthy & Stone residential development at the former Medical Centre, TDBC planners had urged WTC to refuse the permission on the grounds that an insurance broker or accountant did not help maintain full retail use of the High St.
Wellington Business Association lobbied councillors and attended the meeting in support of the two businesses.
Submissions by Richard Smith of BH&S insurance Services and David Wicks of Apsleys, both of whom live in Wellington, and with support from Ian Stock, Chair of WBA, argued for permission to be granted on the grounds that
- an insurance brokers serving the public with motor and home insurance was performing a retail function
- with the closure of Gill Knott Insurances on North Street, this was a unique business and would add to the variety and mix of businesses in the town centre, and as such would attract people into the town
- the addition of this business would contribute towards sustaining and enhancing the vitality and viability of the Primary Shipping Area.
Wellington Councillors agreed with these submissions and voted, with one against, to grant the permission. Richard and David, who already run Mid-Devon branches of the same businesses in Tiverton, were delighted with the result.
David Wicks said “We are looking forward to playing a full part in the expanding business community in Wellington.” Richard Smith added ”We can offer customers an alternative to the Internet with our professional advice and competitive prices. Most people prefer to deal face to face and this will now be an option again in Wellington. ”
Commenting on the decision, Ian Stock said “this addition will add to the mix of businesses within the town, it ensures that an empty unit is filled with a little more permanency than it has had over the past 4-5 years, and is an investment by two Wellington businessmen in the future success of the Town Centre.”